A Good Plan


One Important Consolidation


For Release Dec. 15, 2014


Contact 608-266-8888 ex 3




Madison – “I was intrigued by the Governor’s recent plans to consolidate agencies; eliminate top positions and save money”, Secretary of State, La Follette reacted today.


“One obvious case would be the elimination of the Dept. of Financial Institutions” La Follette said, “ this would save money and more importantly make it easier for people to do business in Wisconsin and create jobs”, stressed Secretary of State Doug La Follette.


Because past and present Governors have transferred important business responsibilities from the Office of the Secretary of State into a new agency that they can control [Department of Financial Institutions- DFI], Wisconsin now sticks out like a sore thumb for people attempting to get information about doing business in our state.


It made no business sense to take these functions away from a constitutional office and move them into obscurity especially since this move increased costs to the taxpayers and created confusion for businesses and individuals.


The Wisconsin Secretary of State’s office still receives dozens of phone calls, e-mails and letters every day from people and businesses looking for these services.


Across the nation, in most states - the Office of the Secretary of State provides important services to businesses and plays a key role in supporting domestic and foreign business transactions.  This is accomplished through a wide range of business services, such as Uniform Commercial Code, registration of corporations, trademark registration and issuance of Notary Public Commissions.


In most other states in the Nation these core duties are the responsibility of the Offices of the Secretaries of State; for example, Secretaries of State are responsible for:


•        Handling corporation and business information – 43 States


•        Registering Trademarks – 46 States


•        Administrating UCC – 42 States


•        Handling notary public commissions – 47 States




To make Wisconsin more business friendly and have a “one stop shopping” place for business it is essential for Wisconsin government to return all such “business functions” to the Office of the Secretary of State. These include notary commission functions, Trademarks/tradenames functions as well as Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and Corporation matters.


The elimination of DFI and restoring these functions, which reside everywhere else in Secretary of State’s offices, will reduce confusion and save money.   The appointed DFI Secretary and Deputy Secretary and other political positions at DFI earn over $509,000. In comparison 1 added administrative position that would be needed in the SOS office would earn only $65,000; a minimum saving of $444,000.




In addition the remaining banking and consumer affairs duties now in DFI should be moved to the State Treasurer and the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Protection.


Also the regulation of profession registration could be given to the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).


This is not about Doug La Follette; I am just fortunate to have been elected to serve the people in the office.  It is not about Republicans or Democrats. It is about what is good for Wisconsin long into the future.


“In this era when building Wisconsin's business climate is of paramount importance, it is critical to align Wisconsin’s provision of business service with the nation-wide model of locating those services in the Office of the Secretary of State”, La Follette said.


“I hope the governor will not overlook this opportunity”. La Follette concluded.


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